These high school boys are wearing off-the-shoulder shirts to protest sexism and their school’s dress code

Want to know what an ally looks like? Let us introduce you to the boys over at San Benito High School in Hollister, California. They’re standing up for their female classmates’ right to express themselves — not be targeted by a sexist dress code.

It all started when the boys noticed the school giving the girls confusing dress code violations. Specifically, for wearing off-the-shoulder blouses. At least 20 girls have been sent home so far this year just for showing their shoulders. According to the school, the style had been banned by the dress code policy for years. But per the boys, the staff only began to enforce the rule more strictly last Monday when school started.

Sick of what both male and female students identified as sexism, some of the girls decided to protest the newly-enforced dress code by continuing to bare their shoulders.

And what did the boys do? They protested the dress code by wearing off-the-shoulder tops of their own.


And they posted proof on the internet for everyone to see.

We love, love, LOVE this show of solidarity.

But the San Benito High boys don’t just walk the walk — they talk the talk, too. One student in particular, Andrei Vladimirov, had some thoughtful remarks on the dress code matter.

"A lot of people want to emphasize the male students' part in this protest, which I respect, but the purpose of this whole thing was to protest sexism against female students," Vladimirov, who wore an off-the-shoulder top himself, told Teen Vogue.

But Vladimirov didn’t stop there.

"Not being able to wear a certain type of shirt may seem like a minor problem to some people, but it is representative of something much larger in society — the fact that women are still, today, being subjected to the dominance of male ideology," Vladimirov continued. "Women deserve to be treated with the utmost respect, and this entails being able to dress as one pleases. Women should be able to wear what they want without being systemically objectified — treated as if they have no personal sovereignty."

One student even pointed out the hypocrisy of the rule as female students traditionally wear off-the-shoulder frocks for their senior portraits without violation.

On Friday, San Benito’s principal Adrian Ramirez released a statement on the school’s Facebook page addressed to students, parents, and staff members. He says that the dress code, which does include “no strapless or tube tops,” is not to prevent male students from becoming distracted, but to ensure students conduct themselves in an appropriate manner.

However, Ramirez did recognize the need for a conversation around the current policy. He concluded by saying that “our next steps will include organizing a committee of students to continue dialogue regarding the dress code.”

Regardless of what happens, it looks like the San Benito boys will stand with their female classmates in solidarity. And that’s a huge win.

And that’s a huge win for everyone.

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